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National Health Policy Audioconference: One on One with Mark McClellan, MD, PhD, Senior Fellow, AEI-Brookings Joint Center for Regulatory Studies, Economics Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, Former Administrator, Medicare and Medicaid Services, and Former Commissioner, Food and Drug Administration

  • Tuesday, February 27, 2007
    1:00 pm - 2:30 pm (Eastern)
    12:00 pm - 1:30 pm (Central)
    11:00 am - 12:30 pm (Mountain)
    10:00 am - 11:30 am (Pacific)

The Audioconference agenda is set forth in Eastern Daylight Time below:

1:00 pm Welcoming Remarks, Overview and Introduction of Speaker
John Iglehart (Moderator)

1:10 pm

Mark McClellan Interviewed by John Iglehart

1:45 pm

Comments by Chip Kahn

1:55 pm

Comments by Karen Ignagni

2:05 pm

Comments by Ian D. Spatz

2:15 pm

Audience Comments and Questions

2:30 pm

Audioconference Adjournment


Subject to be covered in the interview will include, but not be limited to:

  • Proposed reductions in the growth of Medicare and Medicaid: Over the long term, what is your vision of how Congress will tackle the challenges that encircle these large entitlement programs?

  • Medicare has started down a road of compensating physicians with additional payments if they demonstrate they provide a certain level of quality: How will this movement evolve and do you anticipate that eventually every physician will be held publicly accountable for the care they deliver?

  • Current law prohibits Medicare from using cost-effectiveness measures to determine whether it should cover a particular service, product or drug? Do you believe that Congress will remove this prohibition in the near or long term?

  • The concept of value-based insurance design is emerging rapidly, as evidenced by a paper recently published by Health Affairs on the subject. Can you envision a day not too far away when Medicare will encourage the use of services when the clinical benefits exceed the cost and likewise discourage the use of services when the benefits do not justify the cost?

  • The Association of American Medical Colleges recently changed its policy to assert that a physician shortage looms straight ahead. Do you anticipate that Medicare's support of graduate medical education will be expanded to address this perceived shortage?

  • The FDA is moving to improve its capacity to assure the safety of pharmaceutical products. How will Medicare influence this effort as it seeks to effectively manage its Part D benefit?

  • You were a leading architect of the FDA's "Critical Path" initiative-an effort to expedite the agency's examination of new drug applications and its overall effectiveness. Does this initiative remain a central focus on the agency and, if so, what difference do you estimate it will make when fully implemented?

  • What is your opinion of the per capita Medicare payments that health plans now receive to enroll disabled and elderly beneficiaries? Would you anticipate that some/many plans might exit the program if Congress, as Democrats propose, cut the size of these Medicare payments?

  • Medicaid has become the nation's largest public health insurance program. Does CMS need to become more fully engaged in this program, recognizing its scope and future challenges?

  • In recent months, many states, coupled with the new Democratic Congress, have begun to take steps to expand coverage to some of the 47 million people who today lack insurance? How far will this new pursuit go in your opinion in the next several years?

  • You were quoted recently in The New York Times as supporting the expansion of adult coverage under the State Children's Health Insurance Program. What is your opinion about that program and how far it should be expanded to cover those children of poor families who remain uninsured?

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